Rail Careers enquiry UK driver

 
  Mabsdad Beginner

Hi all,

My name is Tom and I am a UK qualified Train driver. I have completed an apprenticeship in train driving and also driven as a depot driver ( full rules, UK train driver licence and mainline shunting ) and as a passenger driver.

I have read through the sticky post and hope nobody minds me starting a new thread however, I was hoping for some advice post covid.
I am not hugely experienced. I will have been driving and qualified for roughly three years by the time I immigrate across to Australia.

My wife is Australian and my daughter is also a citizen. My wife wants to return to Australia and raise out daughter in Queensland where she grew up, and having been a few times I completely understand why and agree this would be a great decision.

My questions are as follows:
Would my current qualifications be of any relevance? I'm aware I would no doubt have to resit rules and traction  training however do they have any relevance at all?
How is the industry looking after covid?

I know Australia has a much greater freight industry then passenger, which I'd be very happy in. Would it be helpful if I transferred to freight over in the UK for a couple of years?
Does anybody have any suggestions on how I could make some connections over in Australia? I have emailed some of the companies I have found and created a LinkedIn profile however not having a huge amount of success.

Apologies for all the questions, however I would love to remain in the industry. Driving would be ideal as I really enjoy my job. I am well aware that as with in the UK it is very competitive.

Thank you all in advance
Tom the pom

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  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Best bet in the short term is to apply for Aurizon in WA if you can stand living under a Dictator who makes North Korea look like a shining pillar of democracy.

They've just secured the CBH grain haulage contract and were after something ~150 Driver's in the (very) near future, and they've sponsored Seth Effriken's before on skilled work visas. Once you've fulfilled any return of service obligation, pull up stumps and move to Queensland now you've established you enjoy being ruled by a Dictator, and if Anna Stay-away hasn't closed the border's again by that time.

I think you'd have to be very lucky to walk straight into a driving job in Qld without already being settled there with house, citizenship/work visa etc all in order, but, Qube has just picked up some working on the Mt Isa line, and there's a semi-regular advertising of positions across the state, usually for coal working. The other thing to consider is just where your missus wants to live. No point settling on the Gold Coast if you want to drive freight, for example. Realistically, you'll need to be within 30-45mins drive for a company to consider putting you on, to account for fatigue management before/after work.

Driver's in Australia are an aging workforce and some operators are beginning to realize this and acknowledge they have to plan for a goodly number of retirements in the not-too-distant future, so while competitive, there are jobs going nationwide, even with Covid. A lot of job listings now want you to have your Cert IV Train Driving qualification too. This isn't hard to achieve, but it would certainly boost your chances, so if you can get RPL'd for this, consider doing it before you come over, or very shortly afterwards.

The other option is to consider getting a start as a Coey initially with one of the labour-hire mobs, such as Trojan, Momentum or (god forbid) RailTrain - but be extremely careful about that last one, and look at their history before you get in too deeply.
  Mabsdad Beginner

Thanks for the reply! Much appreciated.

We are happy to go were the work is to get established. Obviously Queensland  would be ideal however I am realistic and completely understand that it's likely going to be a bit more of a journey getting there. We are going to stop with my wife's parents and essentially move where the job is located. If this is western Australia then that is fine.

I have read about the cert 4 however I have no idea what I can do do to obtain one. Do you have any advice on how I could go about this? Really sorry but I'm not sure what RPL is. I've been trying to get some answers online as I have some time to do qualifications and such if it's helpful before arriving as we are aiming for 2023. I'm back in Australia in febuary with any luck ( boarders pending ) for four weeks and maybe that could be a chance?

Visas are not an issue, I'll be getting a partner visa and this will be sufficient from my research. I have approached railtrain ironically however I'm not really sure of how they work. I'll certainly be careful before signing up but beggers cannot be choosers I suppose.

Thanks again for the advise any more you can offer is really appreciated on the cert 4.

Tom
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Glad to help. Smile

I got my Cert 4 through CERT - Center for Excellence in Rail Training - but that was 99% RPL "Recognition of Prior Learning" based on my training records they sourced from my company. The other 1% was Q+A and dead simple for any experienced Driver (What is BP gradient, what do the TM amps tell you, if you're in DB what force is acting on the train, that kind of thing)

The actual Cert 4 you are after is "Certificate 4 in Train Driving", which has several elective sub-qualifications depending if you drive the sparks, DMU's, freighters, etc. This is provided through third-party training providers, like SCRT, CERT, GoTrain, TheInstructionCo and probably more if you Google it.

If you have a look at the Training.Gov.Au website (https://training.gov.au/training/details/tli42615 if my URL coding doesn't work) you'll see the "Core" and "Elective" requirements, and from that, can ask the above training providers what they would need to have your existing UK qualifications RPL'd (if at all possible). IF a provider is willing to do that, you may well be able to obtain your Cert 4 without any Australian rail experience - but, even without your Cert 4, demonstrated experience on loco's overseas should be enough to get a start.

Insofar as RailTrain - AIUI the issue goes back to the original RailTrain where they failed to pay a swag of entitlements to crew and wound up the company, only to reappear as RailTrain Holdings or something similar. Same name, same directors minus a bunch of liabilities. AIUI the court case with the RTBU (Rail Tram Bus Union) is still ongoing to get these employees their entitlements.

And on that note, I've no idea what union representation is like in the UK, but in Australian rail, it is fairly well entrenched among footplate crew. You're certainly free to not be in the Union, but I would strongly recommend you join as soon as you have a start date with someone.

If you haven't already seen it, Seek.com.au is the main job search site down here, and most footplate positions are listed as "Locomotive Driver" or "Trainee locomotive driver", so simply using "Locomotive" captures both - but also fitters, etc...
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

Thanks for the reply! Much appreciated.

We are happy to go were the work is to get established. Obviously Queensland  would be ideal however I am realistic and completely understand that it's likely going to be a bit more of a journey getting there. We are going to stop with my wife's parents and essentially move where the job is located. If this is western Australia then that is fine.

I have read about the cert 4 however I have no idea what I can do do to obtain one. Do you have any advice on how I could go about this? Really sorry but I'm not sure what RPL is. I've been trying to get some answers online as I have some time to do qualifications and such if it's helpful before arriving as we are aiming for 2023. I'm back in Australia in febuary with any luck ( boarders pending ) for four weeks and maybe that could be a chance?

Visas are not an issue, I'll be getting a partner visa and this will be sufficient from my research. I have approached railtrain ironically however I'm not really sure of how they work. I'll certainly be careful before signing up but beggers cannot be choosers I suppose.

Thanks again for the advise any more you can offer is really appreciated on the cert 4.

T                                                                                                                                                                                  
Mabsdad
                                                                   Plenty has changed in 15 years but I recommend you read Krviators posts here. https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11324921.htm and https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11312571.htm and also https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11403237.htm for an opinion on labour hire. You have chosen a relatively good time to attempt to break into the industry. People with the right quals are being offered sign-on bonuses by certain employers.
  Mabsdad Beginner

Thanks for this info. Gives me plenty to go at.
I'll start sending off some enquires and see if I can get any of my UK qualifications recognised. Anything I do in preparation will help I am sure, and there is no harm in sending emails to see what's what.

Thank you for the links, this will really help narrow down what I am searching for. I currently sign only one loco, the HST class 43, however I can always apply for freight over here to gain more experience.

Over here the union is a huge part of the railway and not being part of the union is a very foolish mistake in my opinion. I will be sure to join when I secure a position!

That's not great about railtrain. I'll certainly be sure to keep an eye on them. They are one of the few companies I've messaged and had relatively positives replies from. Once again, all the help is very much appreciated. I'll be sure to update as things progress. I'll know doubt have more questions too over the coming months so I'm very glad I've found this forum

Cheers
Tom the pom
  sthyer Deputy Commissioner

When suburban train operators have been hiring, UK experienced drivers have been employed, and I suspect are reasonably well regarded. You can apply 'off the street', where they will make you go through all the same assessments as any other person, with no regard given to your previous experience, or apply as a qualified driver where experience is everything and means you don't have to fight against a huge pool of applicants. They don't always advertise these, but certainly Metro and Vline in Melbourne have advertised in the last year, Sydney Trains haven't in a while, NSW Trains haven't but might given their current shortages at their Sydney depot. QR won't, you have to come through 'the ranks'. DOn't know about the rest.

As for Cert IV, everyone wants it, many companies don't train to the standard though and you don't get the certification at the end of the course. Having said that, Sydney Trains wanted it, but ultimately only one of us in the conversion class actually had it!!

Depending on your reasons for moving, be aware that parts of Australia don't live up to the dream of cheap housing and sitting on the beach. One colleague of mine is about to head back to the UK as Sydney is pretty much unaffordable to buy a house in. Outside of the capitals, different story of course.
  Mabsdad Beginner

I was not sure if I could actually apply for qualified roles, I suppose that there is no harm in trying. I have emailed lots of companies including melbourne metro about getting a position and have just had mainly generic replies so far.

The cert four really does seem to be the deciding factor. I am really hopeful I can get RPL however all the companies I've emailed so far have not replied. I am still optimistic though.

Seems like there is a good chance of jobs coming avaliable in the near future so that is a positive. Hopefully I'll be able to set my self a position. I'd more then happy to work rural or out of the way to gain experience. I'll do what ever I can to cracking into the industry.

I know what you mean about the house prices. It's very expensive over here now too and buying in London  would be nearly impossible. My wife wants to raise our daughter aussy not pommy and shes adamant about it. house prices are so expensive over here at the moment so I'd be in no worse a position.

I appreciate all the advice and replies, any other hints tips or info please share it really is helpful and showing that we are making the right choice.
  wally-wowser1 Train Controller

Location: overlooking the Mt vic washaway on Soldiers Pinch
Not sure if Freightliner UK is still associated with the Ozzy branch which is mainly coal haulage in NSW, They have had a few name changes & corporate owners in the last few years since I worked for them . It may be worth while to pay their office a visit & see what could be passed on regarding employment over here .  Freightliner or what ever they are calling themselves last night are also looking at expanding into Qld, mainly coal haulage from what I have seen .   You have to look at all possible opportunities as a few UK drivers have taken up with Freightliner in  few years & seem happy with their move  .
  Mabsdad Beginner

Freightliner over here seem to be doing really well. I did try and check if they are connected but I seemed like they only operated road trains in Australia from my searches. I'll have to revisit and see what I can find. I'll pop an email off to freightliner UK and see if they have any association with aussy freightliner. If so.i can look at getting work on freight and using the experience.
Cheers for the heads up!
  wally-wowser1 Train Controller

Location: overlooking the Mt vic washaway on Soldiers Pinch
There is some confusion regarding their name , one truck manufacture also has their prime movers banged Freightliner. No road  transport for the mob I worked for till retirement  . There has been about 4 name changes for the original Freightliner with different companies buying into the management over the last 3 or 4 years but they are still growing with new engines being built in Newcastle at the present time . Not sure if for coal or container traffic as a few older engines have been brought over time for different loading .



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freightliner_Group

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Rail_Australia


Have a read of these 2 wiki links for more info on the name changes over the last few years .
  lowtensionearth Station Master

One Rail Australia has not had an association with Freightliner UK or its owner Genesee and Wyoming for a couple of years now.

Freightliner UK or G&W is not an avenue into One Rail Australia sorry to say.
  Mabsdad Beginner

Thanks for the information  guys,
I had a look and as said one rail is no longer affiliated with freightliner/G&W. Still it is a company I can keep tabs on and a potential employer so the information still helps. I'm going to make some enquiries about driving freight in the UK for some extra locomotive experience. If might help make a difference and make my CV more appealing for when we make the move.

Thanks again everyone
  62440 Chief Commissioner

I came to to Australia with good qualifications a few decades ago on the civil side, not operating. It took a few months to get a job and I was happy to move around throughout Australia as well as New Zealand. Have a look at Adelaide and sound out SCT and PN for starters, you'll certainly get to see a lot of outback Australia and Adelaide is very liveable and affordable. You could get to drive in WA NT Vic and NSW. Good luck! I'll let others comment on moving around when you have kids.

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